Lifestyle

The Lifestyle

2.6 3
Director: David Schisgall

Cast: David Schisgall

     
 

Fox Lorber's DVD of The Lifestyle provides a reasonable amount of value for the documentary connoisseur. The video isn't stunning, mainly because the film has been blown-up from Super 16 mm source materials, but it is reasonably vivid in its detail. Since this is a documentary, the audio track lacks any kind of special sonic frills, but this DVD delivers a…  See more details below

Overview

Fox Lorber's DVD of The Lifestyle provides a reasonable amount of value for the documentary connoisseur. The video isn't stunning, mainly because the film has been blown-up from Super 16 mm source materials, but it is reasonably vivid in its detail. Since this is a documentary, the audio track lacks any kind of special sonic frills, but this DVD delivers a solid stereo mix that keeps the many interviews and cinéma verité segments crisp and clear. The Lifestyle also offers plenty of supplements to flesh out the program, including a series of web links and production notes. However, the best bonus is 45 additional minutes of footage cut from the film that provides a greater sense of details on the lives of the film's main subjects and also works in some interesting people who didn't make the cut, including an amusing sci-fi-obsessed couple and adult film star/swinging advocate Nina Hartley. It would have been nice to have a commentary from the director to chronicle this unusual production, but this is a minor quibble when one considers the generous package presented on this disc. In short, this DVD edition of The Lifestyle is well worth a look for anyone interested in this unusual documentary.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Lifestyle is eye-opening and often quite funny, but never delivers the incisive exploration of this subculture that it promises. Despite the willingness of the participants to literally bare all for the camera, the filmmakers never manage to get any further than their surface attitudes and behaviors. The big problem is that David Schisgall allows the participants to speak without guidance instead of subjecting them to a carefully crafted interview process -- as a result, they devote their interview time to a lot of well-rehearsed "free love" platitudes that sound good but ultimately don't add up to much. As a result, their lifestyle is no less mysterious at the end than it was at the beginning and this makes The Lifestyle an ultimately unsatisfying experience. That said, patient fans of unusual documentaries will be rewarded with some memorably surreal sights if they stick with the film, including a visit to a colorful swinger's convention and a "swing party" finale that suggests the orgy scene from Eyes Wide Shut as directed by David Lynch. However, moments like these are as frustrating as they are intriguing because they hint at the daring documentary that could have been. As a result, The Lifestyle isn't likely to interest anyone other than curiosity seekers.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/13/2001
UPC:
0720917526133
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Lorber
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:01:00

Special Features

Scene access; Filmography and awards; More information about swinging; Production notes; Extensive weblinks; 45 minutes of bonus footage of swingers not in the movie [including legendary porn star and director Nina Hartley]

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Side #1 --
0. Scene Access
1. Sexual Recreation [:04]
2. Wild Bill [2:32]
3. Behind The Lifestyle [7:08]
4. First Time For Everything [6:11]
5. Red, White & Blue Party [4:54]
6. Pure & Proper [3:56]
7. Always By Accident [4:36]
8. Swinger's Convention [2:46]
9. Sacred Sexuality [4:46]
10. Freedom [4:27]
11. The Down Side [8:10]
12. Warming Up [4:27]
13. Switcheroo [5:55]
14. Cool Down [5:58]
15. Become Family [1:13]
16. Ahead Of My Time [3:42]

Customer Reviews

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The Lifestyle 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
do not show them this film. The swingers in ''The Lifestyle'' are the senior citizen variety. Not middle age boomers, mind you. We are talking post-retirement folks. Don't get me wrong...God bless these seniors and their active libidos. It's just that I was hoping that somewhere between the world of the tan, shaved, oiled hard-bodied early 20's performance swingers (ummm... are they all east of the Mississippi?) and this group of more relaxed, experienced swingers that this film would focus on the 30-50 year olds who make up a big chunk of swinger demographics. The folks who have kids who are growing up, or gone, and beginning to focus effort/energy on their relationships. There was one couple in the film who were interesting on a number of different levels. You know... intelligent, attractive, thoughtful. Who end up leaving the lifestyle after it begins to have a negative affect on their marriage. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Taken as a documentary on a fraction of this burgeoning sub-culture I would give it a much higher score. The one star vote is based on the disappointment I experienced when I realized that this isn't the film that I will pop in when we are entertaining friends and we would like to see if they would like to take our relationships to a deeper level. ***
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was done well with the 16mm film look. I still think about it occasionally
Guest More than 1 year ago
"The Lifestyle" is, in many ways, about as accurate a presentation of the philosophy many couples have in choosing to swap partners, but this documentary devotes the majority of its attention to older, 40+ swingers. I'm sure that part of the absence of late-twentysomething and thirtysomething swingers (of which my wife and I, both in our early 30s, have been a part for three years) is due to the reticence of these age groups, most of whom are probably (like us) active parents of young children, participants in the community, or in high-visibility employment. It is still a bit disappointing to see little representation of swingers like ourselves, but still the presentation of the lifestyle is very accurate. For my wife and I, and others with whom we've swapped, sex is recreation there is, and can be, a distinct line between making love with a partner and having sex with someone. And swingers ARE normal people: my wife and I are both public school teachers, soccer coaches, and community activists. Kudos to David Schisgall for presenting a level-headed documentary about the lifestyle, and more so to the participants who agreed to appear on camera as interviewees and as partygoers.